How observing a clinical process improved the management perspectives of non-clinical staff

Doctor Team Treatment Plan Discussion Concept

Blog by M. Heenan, Lead Author

Healthcare Management Forum 2019, Vol. 32(5) 1-5

On September 17th, #hcldr we will be hosting Mike Heenan, lead author of “So that is how it works? How observing a clinical process improved the management perspectives of non-clinical staff”.

A non-clinician, Mike is an experienced healthcare executive as well as an Assistant Professor (part-time) at McMaster University where he teaches quality and patient safety within their MBA and Master of Health Management programs.  Mike is also a PhD student whose research focuses on how hospitals select key performance indicators and how it impacts managers’ willingness to use data.

It takes a village to run a healthcare sector that is under constant pressure.  Whether it’s increased patient volume, acuity, diversity of services or rising costs, the sector is experiencing tremendous change.  There’s no doubt that the leaders of the system that will drive change to ensure future sustainability have to be the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who come to work each day to care compassionately for patients and families. It is they who help people at the most vulnerable point in time by which the system’s success is appropriately evaluated.

With that in mind, the system is big and complex and relies on a variety of other professionals who do not have a clinical background to help support care delivery.  Whether it is finance ensuring budgets are in place; quality and decision support staff ensuring data is available; human resources ensuring we recruit, train and retain our workforce; volunteers assisting patients find their way; environmental service representatives ensuring the hospital is clean and safe; or, nutrition aides ensuring clinical diets are followed, there are important behind the scenes roles to be played by those who may not have a clinical background.  At the same time, non-clinical service leaders have not always taken advantage of opportunities to learn more about clinical care delivery systems and how they can enhance their services.  Based on their recent article in Healthcare Management Forum (HCF), Mike will lead a discussion on how we can enhance the learning opportunities for our non-clinical staff and how we can all improve the important partnership that is needed between clinical and non-clinical services.

Join guest host Mike Heenan @M_Heenan on Tuesday September 17th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) for the weekly #hcldr tweetchat where we will be discussing the following questions:

  • T1 Research suggests that allowing non-clinical staff to observe patients from admission to discharge helps reduce patient frustration. Why is a non-clinical perspective valuable?
  • T2 What are the benefits, drawbacks and challenges to involving non-clinical staff in organizational / clinical workflow change?
  • T3 Are there benefits for the individual non-clinical staff member to observe workflows and be part of organizational change initiatives?
  • T4 What can be done to create an environment / provide support to non-clinical staff to contribute to organizational change?

Thank you to the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders (CCHL) for helping to organize/co-host this HCLDR chat with Mike Heenan.

Image Credit

CCHL owns the rights to the photo above.


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